From The Founder Of Star Rapid
When I got on the plane in London on the 15th July 2005 to travel to China to set up Star Rapid (previously known as Star Prototype), I knew that I was entering a new era in my life. I knew I would face challenges building a business in a new country like China and I knew I had a lot of learn. China had a reputation for bad quality, miscommunication and late deliveries etc but despite this I saw this an an opportunity to provide a new experience for those who wished to manufacture their products in China.
Sitting on that plane I promised myself that when I got to China I would run my business exactly the way I had ran my business in the UK. I would conform to European standards throughout and aim for extremely high efficiency. I would assume that I had huge competition even if I didn’t and decided that I would hire foreign engineers to come and teach our Chinese employees how to make high-quality parts. I also decided that I would hire educated young Chinese graduates and personally train them from the ground up. Most of our project managers now speak great English. Sometimes better than me.
Now, after years of heavily investing in our inspection and quality control activities we can offer the highest of standards at a great price due to our location in China. We have more than 20 full-time inspectors managed by an international manager, Jeremiah, who has over 30 years experience in metrology and inspection. To provide our customers with even more confidence we have further developed the department by spending more than USD 350,000 on the latest metrology equipment including 1.5m Nikon CMM, PolyMax gun for testing plastics, FARO Laser Scanning for 3D shapes, OES and XRF guns for checking metallurgy and a wide range of other inspection equipment.
My commitment to my customers is that we aim to provide you with a unique service from China that conforms with the best that the world has to offer. Our international team of engineers and managers will support you through the manufacturing process to ensure your project is a success. Oh, and you get a really good price.
What Drives Me?
By Gordon Styles
I was born in 1964 and vaguely remember the back end of the swinging sixties. My Mum and Dad threw some legendary parties back then. After a hard night of partying in our house, my Mum would set up a selection of the previous night’s snacks/bribes to keep my brother and I entertained.
Those quiet mornings in the living room with the TV would see us gorge ourselves on Supermarionations from the famous British due of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. The only one that non-Brits might know is Thunderbirds. Not the terrible movie they made in 2004, but the original with puppets suspended on wires. Team America used a very similar system.
I immersed myself in the high-tech and philanthropic nature of Thunderbirds. Technology and engineering skill coming to save the World – awesome! I am even tingling now thinking about it. You have got to check out a couple of episodes for fun on YouTube. They look ancient now, but they were absolutely cutting edge back then.
But more than Thunderbirds, I was completely blown away by the show Star Trek. I am not a Trekkie, let’s be clear about this, but I am utterly convinced that the human race is destined ‘To Go’ out there in the Universe and it will be scientists and engineers that will make this happen. I am even more enamored with the idea of a meritocratic future with little or no money required to live a fabulously worthy life in search of new and wonderful knowledge about the universe and humanity.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone had everything they could ever need or want in material terms, and the only thing left to concern oneself with was the furtherment of mankind and discovery.
I want a Star Trek future for mankind. In my small way I try and bring a little of “The Next Generation” feel to my own corner of the world. I am responsible for the wellbeing of hundreds of people that work with me, and maybe hundreds more that are supported by their efforts. I realize in this current paradigm that people’s pay will vary, but I ask that everyone wears the same uniform; gets the same chair and desk; eats the same food; is treated with equal importance – and that includes me. My company is a meritocracy through and through. If anyone does not pull their weight, they will eventually have to leave the team. If anyone shows exceptional promise, they can rise up to take greater responsibility – and the emphasis is on the word responsibility.
Jean-Luc Picard cares not for wealth in any form, he only cares about the wellbeing of his people and the mission. I think that the vast majority of people are like this anyway. It is therefore anathema to me why there is such a disparity of income in the world these days.
At Star, we really care about doing things properly. I often tell our cleaners that they are part of the marketing team. If my customers see dirty windows, floors, and toilets, they will think poorly of the company. This makes their role extremely important. Every member of our team is somehow a marketing person, an ambassador for the company. Everyone should be striving to better themselves so as to improve the team as a whole. In that vein we are always striving to provide staff with regular training in a range of areas.
What else can I tell you about myself… I love to buy the latest high-tech gear… I guess that goes without saying…
So, until someone invents a Nuclear Fusion Plasma drive that can be used for deep-space travel, I will do my bit here on planet earth to try and improve my little corner of the world. Hope you now have a little insight into the way I think and why Star Rapid might be called Star.
There you go – a quick overview of who I am, where I’m from and what drives me and my company. Do you want to know more about my history in both life and manufacturing? Why don’t you check out my Wikipedia page.
In honor of my Father who infected me with a love of engineering and Gene Roddenberry for inspiring generations to think about our human condition and dream of a more worthy and meritocratic future.